10 Classic TV Comedy Shows

Wednesday, March 9 by Bobbi Nicolai

Trying to come up with just ten classic TV comedy shows is almost impossible. There have simply been too many amazing comedies over the years. Most of the truly great ones had an ensemble cast. Younger people may have thought that "Friends" invented the concept, but no. They just did it extraordinarily well. read on for a list of ten classic TV comedy shows.

  1. "M*A*S*H" (1972-1983). Starring Alan Alda and set in the Korean War, M*A*S*H won multiple awards. Surprisingly, it only took one Emmy for best comedy, but tied with "Cheers" at eleven nominations each. 
  2. "Seinfeld" (1990-1998). Starring Jerry Seinfeld, this "show about nothing" had seven Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series, but surprisingly only one win. 
  3. "The Golden Girls" (1985-1992). This classic TV comedy show won rave reviews. Starring Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, Betty White and Estelle Getty, The Golden Girls had a strong fan base that never waned. News of the show's cancellation hit fans hard. 
  4. "Cheers" (1982-1993). The strong ensemble cast of Cheers was responsible for garnering them eleven nominations (tied with M*A*S*H for most nods) and an astonishing four wins (tied with "All in the Family," and only one win less than "Frasier"). Set in a Boston bar, "Cheers" was the place "where everybody knows your name."
  5. "Frasier" (1993-2004). From 1982 to 2004, Kelsey Grammar played Dr. Frasier Crane on NBC. "Frasier" was the crown jewel of their Thursday night comedy lineup. They enjoyed eight noms and five wins for best comedy. Those five wins were the most ever won by a comedy in the history of the Emmys
  6. "Happy Days" (1974-1984). Ron Howard starred as the happy-go-lucky Richie Cunningham. Set in the 1950's, this classic TV comedy show gently poked fun at the roles people played in the nuclear family. It received only a handful of nominations and no awards worth mentioning, yet it was a much beloved show with a strong fan base. 
  7. "All in the Family" (1971-1979). Archie Bunker was a know-it-all bigot who constantly butted heads with everybody in his realm of existence. He talked down to everybody. Fans literally erupted in screams and applause when his wife, Edith, finally stood up to him. Nine nominations and four awards is the tally, but those are just numbers. What really made "All in the Family" amazing was the effect it had on the American people.
  8. "Barney Miller" (1975-1982). Barney Miller was a police detective in New York. The show was set in the squad room, and rarely ventured outside of it. A stellar ensemble cast was headed by Hal Linden, who mostly played straight man to the rest of the cast. "Barney Miller" received a nomination every year it was on the air, but only one win. 
  9. "Murphy Brown" (1988-1998). Starring Candice Bergen. Murphy Brown was a single, successful career woman. When she became pregnant and decided to keep her baby, Dan Quail blamed her for the downfall of the American family. Yes, really. Candice Bergen was bemused. The biggest running gag of the series was Murphy's inability to keep a secretary. Nearly every episode showed a new one. 
  10. "Taxi" (1978-1983). Even as an ensemble comedy show, many of the stars of "Taxi" stole the show on a routine basis. Reverend Jim, as played by Christopher Lloyd, was unforgettable, and hysterically funny.

This list is far too short, and obviously only inclusive of American comedies. Classic TV comedy shows in England should be the next assignment.

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